Climate change alarmists are really good at screaming about the sky falling. What they’re not really good at is living like they actually believe the sky is falling.
For years, Professor Glenn Reynolds, a.k.a. the Instapundit, has examined high-profile climate-change activists and responded skeptically, “I’ll believe it’s a crisis when they start acting like a crisis” — i.e., if they believe the problem can only be solved with punitive measures like higher energy costs, but refuse to make any discernable sacrifices themselves.
There’s no shortage of glaring contradictions. When the Paris Conference certified itself as carbon-neutral, they didn’t count the carbon emissions of the 40,000 attendees traveling to and from the conference. One round-trip flight from New York to the West Coast or Europe has a warming effect equivalent to 2 or 3 tons of carbon dioxide per person. Richard Branson, who owns an airline, spoke at a march about climate change recently. Self-described environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio continues to crisscross countries in his private jet. Al Gore made $500 million selling his television network to Al Jazeera, a network owned and funded by the Qatari royal family, which enjoys the world’s third-highest oil and natural gas reserves. Gore has a giant home in Tennessee, although maybe not as big as Thomas Friedman’s 11,000-square-foot mansion in Maryland; he wrote in one of his books the construction of the giant house “prevented it from being redeveloped into a subdivision of a dozen more houses.” He’s willing to live in luxury to avert the carbon footprint of those other families.
The celebrities are the most glaring examples, but you can find non-famous cases of environmentalist hypocrisy, too. Residents of Park Slope, Brooklyn filed a lawsuit against a bike lane. Cape Cod, Massachusetts residents fought the construction of a wind farm off the coast. Berkeley, California residents fought the establishment of bus-only lanes on roads.
Geraghty goes on to explain that liberals recognize their hypocrisy — but just don’t care. It doesn’t matter that they’re hypocrites. It matters only that they are fighting to force everyone else to change the way they live.
It’s an amazing bit of clarity and it rightly exposes the truth behind the climate change alarmism movement. This is all about the power of the liberal elite. They cannot be expected to change the way they live, but the rest of us should be forced to change the way that we live. The wealthy climate activists will continue to fly around the planet via private jet, attending their fabulously expensive fundraising dinners in exotic locales, while they press our politicians to force the middle class to pay higher energy costs, including more expensive windows, appliances, and vehicles. They don’t care that they are laying economic waste to America’s middle class; they care only about the way their imagined “good works” make them “feel.”
Talking about the dangers of climate change helps them pretend they are making a difference. Marching, protesting, and mocking their political opponents make them “feel” like part of the solution. But downsizing their mansions, trading in their luxury cars, boats, and toys or altering their jet-setting lifestyle doesn’t make them “feel” as good. So, they keep on polluting our environment while talking about forcing the rest of us to comply – never realizing that it takes thousands of us “regular” middle class Americans to create the same “carbon footprint” of one Hollywood liberal hypocrite.
Cross-posted at Constitution.com